This morning, the Rhode Island Congressional delegation, Governor Chafee and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) held a Ports Showcase to promote the capabilities and services available at ProvPort and Quonset's Port of Davisville. U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) Acting Administrator Paul "Chip" Jaenichen also participated in the Showcase.
The Showcase was held to provide businesses, policymakers and community stakeholders with an overview of port capabilities, freight flows in the region, and details on how state and federal investments are improving the marine transportation system in Rhode Island. Attendees also took tours of ProvPort.
"Rhode Island's ports are job generators and we need to maximize our port assets. I have worked for years to develop and expand our port infrastructure, and I am pleased to see these federal investments generating new business, jobs, and income for the state and local communities. The groundwork we laid in the 1990s was key to this effort and we need to continually look ahead and plan for future growth and increased capacity," said Senator Reed.
"Today's event helped Rhode Island business, community and government leaders learn more about the changes and improvements in our ports' capabilities, and I hope it will result in new partnerships that will create more jobs for Rhode Islanders," said Senator Whitehouse.
"Rhode Island's ports and infrastructure are the linchpin connecting our businesses and manufacturers to markets all over the world. It is a priority of mine to make it easier and cheaper for our job creators to sell their goods at home and abroad, and this summit is a fantastic opportunity for them to see what our ports have to offer," said Congressman Langevin.
"ProvPort and Quonset are among Rhode Island's most important economic assets," Governor Chafee said. "We have made significant investments to expand and improve the infrastructure and capabilities of our ports, and I look forward to continuing to work with our Congressional delegation to leverage these assets to produce good jobs for Rhode Islanders."?
"This Administration's commitment to America's ports is evidenced by its investment in not one, but two significant port projects here in Rhode Island that are helping to increase their efficiency and capacity," said Acting Maritime Administrator Paul "Chip" Jaenichen. "By moving more freight through the ports, we can generate more jobs and create new business opportunities."
"I thank the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation, Governor Chafee and Administrator Jaenichen for participating in the Ports Showcase to promote the capabilities and services available at ProvPort and the Port of Davisville at Quonset Business Park," said Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Marcel A. Valois. "Rhode Island's long history of excellence in maritime activities and millions of dollars in investments to support and expand port operations provides opportunities to continue to grow our economy and help businesses create jobs in the state."
"The Port Showcase is a tremendous opportunity to tell the story of the expansion and growth of ProvPort. Governor Chafee, Senators Reed and Whitehouse, and Congressman Langevin's efforts to promote the Port of Providence are critical to our growth and job creation," said Bruce Waterson, Chief Operating Officer of ProvPort.
"Today's Port Showcase and the visit by the Acting Maritime Administrator Jaenichen provide a valuable opportunity for us to show how our Congressional delegation and Governor Chafee's commitment to the Port of Davisville is creating economic growth for Rhode Island," said Steven J. King, PE, the managing director of the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC). The QDC manages the Port of Davisville, which is the 7th largest auto importer in North America. "Both federal and state investments helped produce a record breaking year of auto imports for us in 2012 and have us well positioned to expand our port business into the future."
Both ProvPort and the Quonset Development Corporation have benefitted from millions of dollars in federal investments to support and expand port operations. Last December, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse held a port policy summit with the RI Congressional delegation, Governor Lincoln Chafee, and MARAD to discuss opportunities to support Rhode Island's major ports. This Showcase was a result of that summit.